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U.S. Youth National Teams

Under-17 World Cup: USA vs. Spain (Matchday Commentary)

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The U.S. Under-17 national team kicks off its Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria today against Spain (2pm, ESPNU).

I will be providing commentary throughout the match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

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FINAL– Share your thoughts on today's match in the comments section below.

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FINAL– Spain 2, USA 1. The Americans had some good chances, but every one of them was wasted. Spain played well enough to win, an impressive display considering the Spaniards were a man down for 88 minutes.

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102nd minute– McInerney gets the ball in the area, but can't find a shot and eventually loses it. Two minutes left.

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101st minute– USA with another corner that fails to produce a chance. Desperation time now.

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99th minute– USA keeps pressing, but no quality chances.

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97th minute– SHOT GIL but it's saved. Great chance from 17 but Gil doesn't get enough on it.

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96th minute– Gil has been the U.S. team's best player in the second half, but needs to get closer to goal.

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95th minute– Shinsky tries to spring Chavez but they can't connect.

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94th minute– Spain on the counter, looks good for a moment, but the final shot is shanked.

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92nd minute– USA with a dangerous free kick on the right side of the area. It is sent into the middle, but is cleared away before an American can pounce.

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89th minute– There will be 14 minutes of added time. Yes, that's the most I've ever heard of.

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87th minute– Dominick Sarle comes in for Brian Duran as the final USA sub.

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85th minute– Shinsky tries to dribble some Spanish defenders, but loses the ball. Not a great game for Shinsky today.

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84th minute– Kevin La Cruz nearly makes it 3-1, but hits it off the right post.

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83rd minute– The kick is blocked by the wall, and the rebound is blocked as well.

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81st minute– The kick is cleared away, and here comes Spain. Free kick about 25 yards from goal for the Spanish.

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80th minute– Real Madrid product Alvaro Morata is set to come in for Spain.

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80th minute– USA corner leads to another header well wide.

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78th minute– A dangerous free kick is floated in by the USA, but the Americans can't put a shot on goal.

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77th minute– Marlon Duran with a yellow card after a hard tackle on Sarabia.

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75th minute– Watts sends a header wide.

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74th minute– Chavez gets involved and creates some dangerous moments, draws a corner.

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74th minute– We are back and Spain has a long free kick saved easily.

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69th minute– The lights are out again. Who knows how much stoppage time we'll have now.

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66th minute– And there he is, in through one-on-one with the keeper but has his shot saved. What a great chance, and had a wide-open teammate to his left.

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65th minute– Still waiting for Chavez to get involved here.

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63rd minute– Borja comes out for Spain, Kevin comes in. Yes, just Kevin (okay, I believe his last name is De La Cruz).

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61th minute– Better stuff from the USA so far.

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59th minute– USA pressing and McInerney gets into the area before being tackled (cleanly). Shinsky can't do anything with the rebound.

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55th minute– And we're back.

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53rd minute– Play has been halted to fix a flood light that went out.

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51st minute– The ref stops the match after a bank of lights go out.

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48th minute– Gil with a great run forward, but he lays it off to Shinsky, who loses it with a bad touch.

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46th minute– Two subs for the USA. Eriq Zavaleta and Victor Chavez are in for Perry Kitchen and Stefan Jerome.

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46th minute– And we're back.

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HALFTIME– The USA is getting nothing from the wings. Might we see Carlos Martinez as a halftime sub? He's a dynamic player who will at least threaten some defenders with his speed and shiftiness. Right now the US attack is stagnant. The back-line also looks to be reacting rather than reading, which is leaving Spain in good positions far too often. 

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HALFTIME– Spain 2, USA 1. The Americans are up a man, but down a goal, and will need to play much better if they will take a point or three from this match. 

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45th minute– Spain moving it around beautifully. They are fun to watch and you wonder what the score would be if they don't go down a man two minutes into the match.

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44th minute– Jerome with another bad touch that turns the ball over.

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43rd minute– Spain looks to be slowing down. Can the USA find an equalizer late in this half?

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41st minute– Jerome showed great speed on that breakaway, and Gil did well to spring him, but he needed to do much better with the final touch.

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39th minute– Edwards does well to swipe the ball away from Borja in the area. Scary moment there.

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38th minute– Jerome with a breakaway but takes a bad touch and never does get a shot off. Terrible waste of a chance there.

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37th minute– Spain knocking it around now, earning a corner. You really can't tell Spain is down a man.

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34th minute– Duran takes it and sends a weak curler right to the keeper.

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33rd minute– Stefan Jerome with a nice turn to draw a dangerous free kick about 23 yards out.

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32nd minute– Right now the Spanish attacking trio of Borja, Sarabia and Muniain is simply playing better than the USA attacking trio of McInerney, Jerome and Gil.

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30th minute– Did I mention Spain is a man down?

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29th minute- GOAL SPAIN!!! And it's Pablo Sarabia with a beautiful blast of a finish. Borja finds him with a pass in the area and he fires it home on a sharp angle. WOW. Spain 2, USA 1.

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28th minute– Earl Edwards does well to race onto a ball near the edge of the area. Borja was lurking. We keep hearing that Borja is compared to a young Fernando Torres. Haven't seen it yet.

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27th minute– U.S. has possession, but only in the middle third. They need to start being sharper with the final pass.

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25th minute– Saw that coming. Even though the USA has had more possession, Spain has looked dangerous when it gets into the final third. Muniain is the Spanish playmaker and he's causing problems for the US defense. He laid it off to Pablo Sarabia on the left flank and Sarabia laid off an easy pass for Borja to finish.

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24th minute- GOAL SPAIN. And it's Borja with the finish. Spain 1, USA 1.

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23rd minute– For those who missed it, Spain is a man down after a second-minute red card to its top defender, Sergi Gomez.

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21st minute– U.S. defense has looked shaky in flashes, though Jared Watts has looked solid in central defense. He's a converted defensive midfielder who is strong on the ball and a sharp passer.

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19th minute– McInerney is the star of this team and you can see why, with his speed and acceleration in the final third. Still waiting to see Luis Gil and Marlon Duran work their magic.

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18th minute– A Spain goal is ruled offside. Nice build-up, but the final pass was a second late. Better stuff from the Spanish.

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17th minute– Spain is content to give the Americans space on the wings, but the USA haven't been able to take advantage.

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12th minute– Americans have had more of the early possession as the man advantage is evident.

Here is the USA back-line: Zachary Herald, Perry Kitchen, Jared Watts and Tyler Polak

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10th minute– McInerney and Stefan Jerome are up top for the Americans, while Marlon Duran, Luis Gil, Nick Palodichuk and Alex Shinsky are in midfield.

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5th minute– Spain forced to make an early sub, bringing in a defender for an attacker.

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3rd minute- GOAL USA. Jack McInerney scores to gve the Americans an early lead. High ball from Marlon Duran and McInerney beats the Spanish keeper to the ball. Think Casey vs. Honduras.

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2nd minute- RED CARD SPAIN. The Spaniards are a man down after a Spanish defender took down Jack McInerney on the edge of the penalty area.

113 comments
  • Jim Pollock

    Ives;

    While we were outlplayed from about the 20th minute on, I can’t get over what I think should have been a straight red at 100:30. Don’t get be wrong, If the US is’t playing, Spain is my favorite (I’m a card carrying FCB member, as are my two daughters). However, national pride comes into play in international competition!!! Do you, or any of your readers, think the referee just didn’t want to put Spain down one more man with 3:30 left? I think the Spanish kid already had one yellow…So even a yellow would have taken him out???

    Look at the replay and see how blatently he extnded his leg, from behind, to wipe the US player out. I think its incredibly obvious. The ref was only 15 yrads away from the play at, the most… How could he have missed it?

    Also, to the US soccer federation, when you’re a man up and your oppononent has used their first subsititution in the first half… the second time the lights go off… it is time to get indignent about the delays!!!

    Having said all of that, congats Espania! Even at the U-17 level you guys are playing unbelievably beautiful futobl!!!!

    Like

  • SAY

    Polak wasn’t horrible…He actually served in good corner kicks and free kicks with his left foot. He gave the boys at least 3-5 chances to score…..I agree Shinsky was horrible since he didn’t really connect with his other teammates and never got in a good cross and he was just so weak when he played and relatively pushed off the ball easy!!

    I think most people would say Duran played 2nd best next to Luis Gil. I think what made Duran stand out was mainly his first touch and his several good and accurate switch of field plays.

    Like

  • Jim Pollock

    Reading through the comments, I havw to agree with Dennis!!! Our kids played extremely well against a bunch of Spanish kids who have been signed by and are training with some of the best clubs in the world. If our kids are lucky, at 17 they just stopped playing for a non-nothing Dad at 3-5 years ago!!!!!!!!

    By the way, I like that that Polak kid!!! Pushing up like that he reminds me of Danny Alvez!!!

    Plus, if he spelled his name right, he’d be all set!!!

    Jim Pollock, Danvers MA

    Like

  • madmax

    Brent Latham at ESPNsoccernet, has some tough ratings on the players. I agree with most, but would step up all of them one point. I’m not sure whether Brent was predicting a great tournament from the USA, if so that may account for the tough love.

    Like

  • madmax

    Mex 1 Bra 0
    Mexico with a deserved lead in second half. Both forwards make good runs off the ball, didn’t see that from US strikers. Brasil back comes off near post to interfere with his own goalie, who spills it out for El Tri goal.

    Like

  • Pancho Miguel MoralesdeConejo

    I liked Polak also, he was the best of the back line. McInrney reminds me of the big kid in AYSO who gets all the time at forward. Duran played well, Gil showed flashes. Absolutely NO wing play, I dont’ think there was a single decent cross played, …not that we would have won any headers.

    Basically this was like the Confeds Cup in reverse, Spain gave us the wings, we just couldn’t do anything with them.

    Did not agree with Cabrera in pulling 2 at half-time, though Kitchen may have been an injury? He should have let them start go 15 hard minutes before being subbed out. You up against 10, you shoul be playing side to side…everything was up the gut, where they were packing it in, the last 10 minutes when they went wide (mainly right with Herrod making the runs) they found a lot of space and had more than a couple of decent chances.

    Just not our night, 3 wide open looks/breakaways and zero to show for it.

    Like

  • SAY

    The only time we got good crosses were from Polak’s corners. He was very consistent with them.

    There was a lot of wing play actually…but sadly a lot of it was on Shinsky’s left side which completely SUCKED he just dribbled too much and never got a good cross off.

    Gil played nice through balls a couple time while on the wing.

    Like

  • Hush

    What the hell are you talking about?? What I said was,.. these wack ass players look like polo type tenis players!! What does “white” have to do with it?!! If I wanted to say white kid, I would have said it, white kids!

    By pass smith cause his name is Martinez?? Are you serious?? Are you playing the rush limbaugh white card too??!!LOL There is nothing racial about me saying bring the Gonzales players to the U.S!! You need calm the hell down little man. The fact is that Hispanic Americans players are more technical with their feet than most of our players on the USMNT.. besides Adu,Torres,Benny,Davies,castillo, there is nobody else with foot work skills!! PURE FACT!!! My argument is we have all these wack ass players with no passing abilities. Our team lacks of what to do with the ball before they get it!!

    Mostly the “Gonzales” are known for these type of skills in the soccer world. Watch the mexican league and watch our boys play there and see for yourself what I’m talking about, otherwise go post somewhere else with your racial crap….

    oh, is it racist that I said “the Gonzales” are better when it comes down to the tecnhical part of soccer?!!…Pleeease!!

    Like

  • Hush

    Donovan??LOL Dempsey??LOL What are you talking about??? Are you seriously retarded?!! Did you read my post??? TECNICAL SKILLLSSS!!!!!! You incompetent person!! REad before you reply!! Freddy Adu,Torres,Castillo,Davies,benny, are only a few players on our team that know what to do with the ball before they get it!! Do you understand Futbol lingo??? Dude, get the hell out of here with that Dempsey & Donovan being great tecnical players. They are our best players, but not tecnhically when it comes down to footwork!!!

    ADU is the only one with above average South American type footwork skills!!Pure fact!! Whether you like or not, he is above the names mention. I don’t give a damn what he is doing oversease, that is not the argument!!

    Like

  • Hush

    Did you read my post? Read before you reply!! Freddy Adu,Torres,Castillo,Davies,benny, are only a few players on our team that know what to do with the ball before they get it!! Do you understand Futbol lingo???… get out of here with that Dempsey & Donovan being great tecnical players. They are our best players, but not tecnhically when it comes down to footwork!!!

    ADU is the only one with above average South American type footwork skills!!Pure fact!! Whether you like or not. I don’t give a damn what he is doing oversease, that is not the argument here.

    Scary how many people here know nothing about the game!

    Spain players: Athletico madrid,Barca,Real M,Villareal,Betis,sevilla,osasuna,etc…

    Our players: Youth Academies.

    This is no exucuse for not bing able to pass the ball half way down the field with 11 players against 10!! Techinical footwork abilities is why we moslty lost,.. you can’t teach that! Besides Gil & Duran nobody had any serious soccer skills. 15,16,17, is too old to lack those skills! I expected to lose, but not when we are up by 1 man and one goal. Our players need to be more technical.

    Like

  • Hush

    Read carefully before you reply. Do you understand Futbol lingo? ADU is the only one with above average South American type footwork skills!!Pure fact!! Whether you like or not, he is above the names mention. I don’t give a damn what he is doing oversease, that is not the argument!!

    You sir no nothing about the game. Go praise you MB poster instead!

    Like

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